Mental Coaching

What Is Mental Coaching? Benefits and Examples

Successful performers don’t stop at physical preparations when getting ready for competitions. They must be mentally prepared by modifying their beliefs, decision-making processes, and feelings to suit their goals.

This is where mental coaching and coaches come into the picture.

These experts are trained to help performers combine psychological skills, tactical strategies, and physical fitness to increase performance.

But exactly what is mental coaching? Should you seek a mental coach? Does mental coaching actually make any difference? Keep reading to discover answers to these questions.

What Is Mental Coaching?

young female athlete warming up on the track

In simple terms, mental coaching is a counseling method that focuses on developing an individual’s mental skills and cognitive abilities regarding performance achievement.

Mental coaching helps athletes and performers achieve more success in competitive circumstances. The counseling technique also increases confidence in business leaders to exert themselves and expand their horizons.

According to the American Psychological Association, mental coaching can increase motivation, restore confidence, and minimize mental errors affecting an individual’s performance.

Many people confuse mental coaching with the work of a psychotherapist. For example, it is common for a professional athlete to seek a mental coach when they experience extreme stress and performance anxiety about an upcoming sports competition.

Generally, mental coaches do not have the training to help people with emotional or mental barriers and mental health issues. Their job is to develop a performer’s mental game skills or psychological skills.

Only psychotherapists have the expertise to treat performers with mental or emotional issues. However, you might be lucky to find a few mental coaches who also train as psychotherapists.

In a nutshell, look for a mental coach if you want to perform more consistently, focus more under pressure, or overcome a mental block that hinders performance.

On the other hand, you should seek a psychotherapist if you have emotional issues or mental illness that may prevent you from performing at your best.

6 Ways Mental Coaching Can Help You

young black women exercise with battle ropes

By answering the question “What is mental coaching?” we’ve identified the difference between a mental coach and a psychotherapist. But do you really need a mental coach?

You need a mental health coach if:

  • You have trouble focusing and performing consistently under pressure
  • You think you are not good enough, despite your skill set
  • You know you can do better but have trouble motivating yourself to perform better
  • You are not satisfied with your current performance achievement
  • You want to unleash your full potential and be more successful, especially in competitive arenas

Okay, so you’ve determined that you could use the services of a mental coach. What exactly will you get out of the counseling? Here are seven important benefits of mental coaching.

1. Helps Clarify Your Goals

Every performer has a goal to succeed; the problem is defining that goal in clear terms for your mind to grasp.

A mental coach helps you assemble the different bits of your goal into a coherent vision, giving your mind an execution plan to follow.

In addition to helping you get clear on exactly what you want to accomplish, mental coaching enables you to figure out the most efficient path to your goals.

2. Develops Psychological Skills for Real-World Results

Mental coaching helps performers learn and develop useful mental skills, such as focus and concentration – two skills that can significantly improve performance.

In addition, mental coaching improves performers’ ability to be more determined and committed to accomplishing their goals.

These skills are vital in keeping performers motivated, even in frustrating situations and during physical exhaustion.

3. Improves Your Capacity to Control Your Attention

Having control over what to give your attention to and what to ignore is critical to success when it comes to performance achievement. This is known as attentional control – the ability to concentrate solely on task-relevant information while deliberately blocking out task-irrelevant information.

Mental coaching helps you keep your focus riveted on what’s important for as long as necessary.

4. Highlights Blinds Spots That May Hinder Success

We all have certain weaknesses hidden from us but glaring to others. Everyone has these “blind spots,” and that’s part of what makes us human.

However, these hidden weaknesses can get in our way and prevent us from reaching our full potential if we don’t have someone to help us uncover them. Mental coaches have the expertise to help us see these blind spots and convert them into stepping stones.

5. Provides Important Feedback

One of the crucial roles of a mental coach is providing objective feedback. You get to have someone – an expert – tell you exactly what to tweak and improve to speed up your learning process.

These experts want to see you succeed as much as you want, so they counsel you and offer useful guidance that improves thought and emotion control, imagery, and motivation.

6. Offers a Series of Mental Training

Successful performers undergo a series of mental training, including mental toughness and mental readiness.

Mental preparation for competitions is only one aspect of performance training. You need to prepare mentally to learn and practice, too.

Some of the mental strategies you will learn in this mental training system include:

  • How to focus and control your attention
  • Getting mentally ready for practice sessions and competitive arenas
  • Relaxation techniques
  • How to visualize your goals as already accomplished
  • Pushing personal boundaries to increase mental toughness
  • Managing frustrations and physical fatigue

Bottom Line

What is mental coaching? It is a method of exploring your mind to help you attain more of your potential and improve mental health.

The mind is a very powerful tool; so powerful it can spur you to action with limited skills, or stop you dead in your tracks, even if you have adequate knowledge in your field.

A mental coach has one job – to get your mental performance and mind to work for you instead of against you. If you are a performer looking to prefer your mind for success, consider getting in touch with a mental coach to help you reach peak performance.

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